University of Hertfordshire student admits groping woman’s bottom

A STUDENT out celebrating after finishing the final essay for his master’s degree was caught on CCTV groping a woman’s bottom.

Collins Okoli was out partying in Watford to mark the end of his social work course at the Hatfield-based University of Hertfordshire.

His barrister Franco Tizzano told St Albans Crown Court: “It was a matter of stupidity. He was larking around outside a nightclub and touched the person momentarily.”

Mr Tizzano said when Okoli, 25, was arrested and was told how upset the woman was, he said he wanted to apologise there and then.

He said Okoli, who earns �200 a week at a Sainsbury’s depot, was hoping to become a social worker.

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He said he was hoping his career would not be affected by his conviction.

Mr Tizzano added: “He has learned his lesson and is never likely to do this again. It was a momentary lapse of judgement.”

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Okoli, of Carterhatch Road, Enfield, pleaded guilty to common assault.

Prosecutor Sarah Porter offered no evidence on a charge of sexual assault and a not guilty verdict was entered.

Judge Patrick Moloney QC told Okoli: “Women deserve protection from any kind of assault. It was a disgraceful assault.

“I am satisfied it was an isolated moment of stupidity.”

He passed a 12-month community order with a requirement Okoli carries out 60 hours’ unpaid work and pays �400 costs.

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